• CYBERCRIME IS APPROACHING $5 TRILLION OF ANNUAL ACTIVITY, enabled by a thriving online marketplace where hackers sell tools and services to criminals. Their shopping list ranges from as little as $1 for malware installation; to $25 for a password, fake driver license or debit card; $100 for an email or social media account, or remote desktop control; to $750 for a credit report. Virtually anything is available to anyone/anywhere and failure to protect as much data as you can with cybersecurity tools is crazy. DCG affiliates are specialists in this arena. Call us for a reality check of your strategic risk from cybercrime.
  • MODERN COMPANIES ARE INCREASINGLY UTILIZING ‘ENTREPRENEURIAL MANAGEMENT’ TECHNIQUES, applicable to any size, industry or sector of the economy, particularly Start-Ups – “properly understood as a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.” Most companies today operate on business principles which incorporate “functional departments to mitigate risk through compliance with detail procedures… utilize experts in specialized silos, with specific milestones tied to each handover… composed of managers & subordinates who measure success by ‘vanity metrics’ designed to look as good as possible… and full of multi-tasking meetings where creativity is divided and focused across many projects at the same time.” For Start-up and evolving companies, modern techniques involve a complementary set of tools & processes which include: “cross-functional teams that (a) work together through iterative, scientific approaches; (b) share responsibility to drive business results; (c) are filled with passionate believers dedicated to one project at a time, enabling rapid experimentation; and (d) founded on sustained impact via continuous innovation focused on long-term results.” [FORTUNE – Nov 1, 17]
  • THE ‘SOCIAL MEDIA REVOLUTION’ once “held out the promise of a more enlightened politics, as accurate and effortless communication helped good people drive out corruption, bigotry and lies… but something has gone terribly wrong… The 2008 financial crisis stoked popular anger at a wealthy elite that had left everyone else behind, and the culture wars have split voters by identity rather than class.” It turns out that the social media mechanism, “instead of imparting wisdom, now dishes out compulsive stuff that tends to reinforce people’s biases and aggravates the politics of contempt, as different sides see different facts and share no empirical basis for reaching compromise or room for empathy. Because people are sucked into a maelstrom of pettiness, scandal & outrage, they lose sight of what matters for the society they share – which then tends to discredit the compromises and subtleties of liberal democracy, and boost the politicians who feed off conspiracy and nativism.” The digital revolution emanating from technology has disrupted the political arena as much as it has retail, publishing and most other industries, by further enabling ‘outsider’ and ‘extremist’ candidates to connect directly with financial supporters and voters, without having to navigate the traditional political party hierarchies.  Democracy does have a downside. [THE ECONOMIST – Nov 4, 17]
  • “THE ERA OF CONVENTIONAL COMBUSTION ENGINES IS COMING TO AN END.” Researchers now forecast that plug-in electric vehicles (EV) will be in the majority, in a couple decades, as: (1) “Range Anxiety” is alleviated so vehicles can travel significantly farther than the current 200 – 300 miles before needing battery recharge; (2) “Charging Time Trauma” is also alleviated so the up-to-10 hours for garage recharge will drop to 20 – 30 minutes from multiple and free public charging stations (China’s plan is for nearly five million in the next two years); and (3) “Maintenance Costs” become negligible, since EVs have “fewer than 20 moving parts, as opposed to 2000 in combustion engines.” The revolution is now unstoppable. [THE WEEK – Nov 10, 17]
  • THE PLIGHT OF AMERICA’S MANUFACTURING WORKFORCE is indeed attributable to production being employed in foreign countries with dramatically lower labor rates, but even more so by the impact of technology. Take a look at how FEW workers it now takes to build the largest Boeing aircraft: https://www.youtube.com/embed/SE71NJl-naY?autoplay=1    But our SERVICE workforce is evidently safe: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts 11.5 million new jobs by 2026, of which the 10% fastest growing will involve care (home-health, personal aides), clean energy (solar-panel installers, wind-turbine technicians), and computers (software developers, mathematicians).
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Around 75% of all images shared on Snapchat are ‘selfies.’ Some 100 million daily digital postings come from 19 out of every 20 narcissistic teens and well over half the millennials, according to Adweek.

   Newest federal statistics show a huge continuing boom in both legal and illegal U.S. immigration – to over 43 million since 2000!  When their U.S.-born children are added, the number grows to over 60 million, making the immigrant community nearly one-in-five of the nation’s population.